It just sits there! Jenkins Middle School that is.
I, for one, was happy when I found out that the Chewelah School District consolidated the middle and high schools under one roof. The high school building is in much better shape, and many other small school districts have grades 7-12 under one roof and it works well.
I know there’s some VHS sitting from a 1990s’ multimedia class somewhere when I was in middle school where we did interviews of students complaining about the age of the building. And that was like the dark ages when you got your internet through dial-up and we used VCRs! In the video, I’m pretty sure we all asked for the town to build a new Middle School and then the video cut to so claymation I did with Star Wars figures and Magic The Gathering cards.
The problem is solved now, but now we have Jenkins Middle School sitting there. It occupies a good chunk of land right off from the highway. With the new trend in Chewelah to take an old building and turn it into something new, here’s what I think we could do with the middle school building….
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The school district knows better than anyone the actual condition of the building and what they can do in real life. I’m just being a laptop jockey with ideas that are neither well-researched nor coming with any insider information. Don’t think that I somehow know better than school district officials because they all have impressive looking degrees and I spent several years at EWU watching football)
THE WORLD’S BIGGEST LASERTAG BUILDING
The best way to prepare for a possible home invasion/self defense event that you can post photos of on the “Stevens County Public Shaming” Facebook Page, is to try out the ol’ LaserQuest building in Spokane. Problem is, if you’ve been to Spokane in the past few years you’ve noticed that traffic is a drag. So why don’t we turn JMS into a gigantic Lasertag building. After a hard day of work, who doesn’t want to put on laser tag gear and blast away enemies in its huge hallways? I feel like stress in this town would plummet like 120 percent when we opened JENKINS LASERQUEST CENTER.
MOVIE SET FOR THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE OR HORROR MOVIE
They apparently shot a zombie series in Spokane and Chewelah’s very own Joe Wulczynski was even “Super awesomely good-looking Zombie No. 4” in one of the episodes. Why couldn’t they shoot a zombie flick in the old middle school building? You could do a horror movie too! I remember going to school there. You know how many odd noises and spooky things happen in that place? The locker room reminded me of a bad episode of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”
LET THE QUARTZITE BREWERY GUYS TAKE IT OVER
They did a masterful job converting a former auto shop into a brewery. What if they took JMS and turned it into a bigger brewery? Then you could have brews like “Raider Ruby” or name them after middle school teachers. My personal favorite would be “Geno Ludwig’s Lemon Shandy.” If Chewelah was 20 miles outside of Portland, JMS would already be a McMenamin’s and there would be hipsters crawling all over the place. Akers would probably have to start selling capris and fanny packs for them.
People love sports! This idea comes from Rob Chalmers, who thinks they could turn the school into a sports center. This actually seems like a very good idea, considering Chewelah’s central location in the Tri-County area. By having one gymnasium, adding another and then maybe even having a pool, you could host tournaments of all sorts in youth and adult sports.
Think this sounds crazy? Ask Centralia how that went for them. They built a multi-purpose rec center complex and now every weekend hundreds of parents and kids stop off I-5 to play in a softball/baseball/basketball/wrestling/track and field tournament of some sort. You could also have physical therapy space in a few of the classrooms, put together a few studios for martial arts, ballet and stuff that would cause me to tear a hamstring.
HABITAT FOR WOLVES/CATTLE
Since they can’t seem to get along on grazing lands, perhaps we either move the cattle or the wolves to JMS?
POKEMON GO GYM
Instead of having people wander around town with their heads buried in their phones, couldn’t we have all the Pokemons hang out there?
In all fairness, I am just shooting from the hip there. The reality of the situation is I spent several fun years in the building, playing Star Wars Cards games with my friends in the library, checking out all the cool animals Mrs. Washington had in her classroom and learning about photography in Mr. McCabe’s class. There’s a lot of memories there and it would be a shame for the building to go to waste!
By Brandon Hansen/Managing Editor of the Chewelah Independent